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Sadhguru’s Wisdom: What the Mind of a Yogi & Visionary Has to Teach Us About Our Purpose

What’s your life purpose?

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve pondered that question before. Maybe you know absolutely what it is. Maybe you’re in the process of figuring it out. It could also be that you’ve got no idea. 

Sadhguru, a yogic master, seer, teacher, poet, and one of India’s Top 50 influential people, might argue that our goal shouldn’t be to discover our purpose and identity but to achieve oneness, or a lack of separation from the cosmos. 

According to his teachings, most of us over-identify with things like our beliefs, families, experiences, education, professional status, and gender. At the same time, we distance ourselves from everything else. We form groups and clans, consider others to be better than or less than, and engage in ego battles that leave us miserable.

Yet, discovering and living our purpose and identity authentically can bring joy, peace, and happiness into your life, especially if your purpose is true to you. Being authentic means living a life based on your own passions, loves, and inspiration, rather than what’s prescribed to you from the outside.

So, is being an individual and being connected mutually exclusive? We don’t think so. In this article, we’ll look at how Sadghuru views the limited and expanded identities, how you can understand your true nature and purpose, and why living in alignment with both yourself and the cosmic is key to peace, health, and happiness. 

Who Is Sadhguru?

Sadhguru has been helping students answer questions like why are we here and what the most important thing in life is for decades as a visionary, teacher, yogic master, poet, and public speaker. Named one of India’s Top 50 Influential People, he’s toured the world giving talks and leading transformational classes and workshops that change people’s lives.

Sadhguru’s Inner Engineering is one of his greatest offerings and includes in-person and online retreats, workshops, and classes to help individuals understand and transform their inner worlds. In doing so, they change their lives. Sadghuru has spread his teachings around the world, including at Stanford University where he discussed altruism and Harvard University, where he discussed memory and consciousness.

The Dangers of a Limited Identity and Purpose

According to yogic philosophy, each individual person is part of a larger whole. Each life is temporary, simply one expression of the universe. Importantly, other people are equally unique and valuable, yet Sadhguru says we don’t always act with that understanding.

One of his most important teachings is on how a limited identity harms us and the world. When we identify too much with our individual experience or with our affiliation with our family, community, country, or species, we do not recognize our interconnectedness. 

Most of us cling to our limited identities voraciously and that, by nature, creates a division that defies logic and flies in the face of our supposedly rational minds. Think about how often we point to “others” — other people, other groups, other countries — and judge them negatively for the very same things we’re doing. We view “them” as the problem. This is the basis of conflicts and wars. It happens on a large scale every day.

When we’re limiting our identities, we want to protect and care for ourselves and maybe our families, communities, or nations, but not others. This division can also easily lead to feelings of conflict, of “us vs them.” We can then use this to justify bad behaviors toward others. Or, we hoard all the good for ourselves, developing life-saving technologies and treatments and putting patents or prices on them.

Some of Sadghuru’s points can cut to the core and may feel edgy and controversial. For example, he has said that the very people who judge tyrannical dictators are actually tyrants in their own minds. They live with the same thirst for power, lack of compassion for others, and self-centered, limited identity as a dictator would — they just don’t have the power to act on them.

Division doesn’t just promote selfish behavior. It’s also harmful and painful to individuals. It can fuel feelings of disconnection, alienation, or low self-worth. It fuels comparison, and it can cause someone to forgo their authentic life purpose — which should bring joy, a sense of purpose, and passion — to conform instead to other people’s expectations or ideas of what’s meaningful.

Identity and Purpose Expanding Practices

If you’re looking to tangibly feel that oneness Sadghuru talks about, think about the fact that this very struggle between ego and expansion we’re talking about has been challenging people for millennia. Some of the oldest practices on earth were designed to help people overcome their limited identities, realize their true natures, and find inner and outer peace.

Just like you, people in ancient India were seeking answers and ways to move beyond the limited, dualistic mind. In ancient India, they turned to yoga, the science and philosophy of oneness and awareness. Yoga gives very clear guidelines and practice for how to live our daily lives in ways that support oneness or union. 

Practices such as pranayama (breathwork), karma yoga (acts of service), yoga asana (the postures most people are now familiar with), and meditation are all practical, tangible ways you can support an expanded identity that honors your connectedness with everything around you.

Yoga philosophy recognizes that to create the conditions to move beyond the limited self, you need to set up the right conditions in the body and mind. A calm, clear mind, the proper nutrition for your body type, a settled nervous system, and a purified energy system — all of these things make it easier to become present and silent where connection to cosmic consciousness begins.


Part of expanding your identity comes with realizing your physicality and understanding that the earth is your home. By connecting to the earth, you’re tapping into your awareness that you are made of the same element. Regular grounding can also be a daily reminder that since you are made of earth, your experience here will eventually end. You will die, and this can fuel a desire to understand what’s beyond this limitation, leading you to a path of oneness.

According to Sadhguru, you can connect with the earth element in a few simple ways:

  • Walk barefoot on the earth before and after a meal. (This also helps with digestion.)
  • Put your hands or feet in the soil every day. (You can even get a little pot of soil to do this.)
  • Try practices like Bhuta Shuddhi, or mastery of the elements.
  • Practice mindfulness with simple daily practices like eating, washing dishes, or doing laundry.

Practicing getting out of your head and becoming more present in your physical body won’t just help ground you, it will also create a calmer and more peaceful mind.


Pranayama, often known by Westerners as breathwork, is best understood as the proper management of prana (energy or life force) according to Sadhguru. Since the breath carries prana, using specific breathing patterns can shift and guide the energy system, or subtle body.

Different types of pranayama can soothe your mind, clear out energetic debris, balance your masculine and feminine energies, release stuck emotions that weigh you down, and even clear out old karma. Once free of these densities, your mind can become clear, your intuition can increase, and you can drop the dualistic, conflictual thinking to experience inner peace. 

Sheetali Pranayama, or cooling breath, can remove excess heat in the body, which manifests as anger, irritation, anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Ujjayi Pranayama cleanses the energy channels of stuck energy, recirculates fresh prana throughout the body, and promotes mental clarity.

Nadi Shodhana or alternate nostril breathing balances the left and right sides of the brain as well as masculine and feminine energy. It settles the nervous system and calms the mind through focused attention.

A pranayama practice can help you quiet the monkey mind, become more aware of your inner world, and tap into intuition — your bridge to the universal mind.


In order to live a purpose-filled life, understand the strengths and limitations of our identities, and feel connected to something bigger, we need to clear out the clutter. Every day we’re bombarded with bids for our attention, all telling us consciously or subconsciously what to believe. Plus, from a very young age, we’re conditioned to accept various ideologies, belief systems, and value systems, which may or may not resonate with who we truly are. 

Maybe we have artistic talent we’re not pursuing because we’ve taken on the belief that art isn’t valuable. Maybe our mission is to help others, but we’re stuck in a corporate job. To uncover your purpose in this lifetime, it’s essential to have self-awareness and a calm mind, which meditation will help with. 

Besides self-awareness, meditation can also help with cosmic awareness. It helps us transcend all limitations, including the mind and body. Sadhguru says when we identify with the body, our lives will be primarily focused on survival. When we identify with the mind, we’re at the mercy of whatever social, religious, or communal perspectives and judgments we’ve taken on. 

So, whether we want to transcend the ego and understand our oneness or we want to tap into that unique and authentic personality we have with its gifts, talents, and purpose, we need a practice to connect with ourselves.

Living an Individual Life With a Cosmic Consciousness

So once you achieve this oneness and connectedness, it’s time to renounce your earthly life and meditate in a cave for the rest of your days, right?

Not so fast. Being connected and being yourself isn’t a mutually exclusive experience, just like being spiritual and having needs, wants, and desires in the physical realm aren’t mutually exclusive. You can do both, it’s just about intentionality.

You can cultivate your gifts and talents while knowing that they’re part of a temporary personality. You can desire, want, and have things while knowing that they don’t define you. You can understand that what lies beneath your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs is oneness and pure consciousness while still having all of them. (Besides, if you’ve figured out a way to turn thoughts off, let us know.)

Simply understanding and deepening your ability to experience oneness can make you a happier, kinder person over time. According to Sadghuru, you won’t need to follow rules, codes, or moral rules when you begin to viscerally feel others are yourself. It would be crazy to harm others when you know they are like you, even a part of you.

Understanding your deeper nature also makes your own life healthier and happier as you begin to drop any false beliefs about being “less than” or limited. Self-judgment, feelings of self-pity, and bad moods fade more easily as you become unshakeable in your belief in your own, divine nature.

You Can Awaken To Your True Nature

You’re just like every other person on earth — a human with hopes, fears, desires, worries, strengths, and weaknesses. Yet, you are a unique individual e with gifts, talents, and a life purpose that only you can fulfill. You can be both. Understanding the way you express yourself as an individual piece of consciousness and seeing it as one consciousness will help you live a life filled with purpose not just for yourself but for the world. Most importantly, it can also help you feel stronger, more trusting in the universe, and more compassionate!

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Greatness Authors

Greatness Authors is a collection of writers, thinkers, curiosity experts, and students of the world who are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date, impactful, and inspiring information surrounding Greatness topics.

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